Published On: Wed, Jan 3rd, 2018

Who’s Got the Biggest Nuclear Button?

 

In Kim Jong-un’s New Year’s Day speech, he claimed that North Korea‘s nuclear forces are now “completed”, stating that the nuclear launch button is always within his reach. In response to the claim, U.S. President Trump fired back, pointing out that his button is “much bigger & more powerful” – something which cannot be disputed, as our first infographic shows. Our second chart sheds light on where the North Korean nuclear infrastructure is located.

Big Buttons

Currently, there are an estimated 14,555 nuclear warheads in the hands of just nine countries. At the top of the list, as compiled by the Federation Of American Scientists (FAS), are of course Russia and the U.S. With a combined arsenal of over 13,000, this particular hangover from the Cold War is still plain to see. Up to now the two have been undergoing programmes of disarmament – of this 13,400, over 5,000 are officially retired and awaiting dismantlement.

The FAS estimates that North Korea is in possession of between 10 to 20 warheads.

Infographic: Who's Got the Biggest Nuclear Button? | Statista You will find more statistics at Statista

 

Nuclear Power – Statistics & Facts

Nuclear power is based on the power derived from the process of fission. During fission, a neutron bombards a large uranium atom, which releases more neutrons and causes a chain reaction as they collide with other atoms. This fission of uranium atoms releases energy that can heat water to extremely high temperatures (over 270 degrees Celsius) which in turn, spins turbines connected to generators that produce electricity. Nuclear power has the capacity to provide electricity to millions of people but often faces opposition based on safety concerns.

 

After the 2011 nuclear disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi plant, many people began to protest the use of nuclear sources, however, it continues to be a vital source of energy. Worldwide generation of nuclear energy is expected to grow from around 2.6 billion kilowatt hours in 2008 to about 5.5 billion kilowatt hours in 2040. In 1954, the first nuclear power plant came online in the Russian city of Obninsk. In 2015, there were 441 nuclear power reactors in operation globally. The United States is the largest nuclear power generating country in the world, accounting for almost one third of the world’s nuclear electricity generation. As a consequence, the United States also produces the most nuclear waste globally. The Fluor Corporation is one of the leading nuclear waste contractors in the country. Many of the nuclear reactors in the United States were built by the 1970s with licenses to operate for up to 40 years. The future of nuclear energy depends on many variables, such as cost, and face competition from natural gas and alternative energy sources.

French utility company EDF (Electricité de France) is the world’s largest operator of nuclear reactors. With a market value of around 25.6 billion U.S. dollars, the Paris-based firm was ranked among the world’s largest electric utilities as of April 22, 2016.

 

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